My contribution to the Neapolitan Republic was to be the editor-in-chief of the newspaper Il Monitore Napoletano, from February to June 1799, a short five months. Ours was probably the first republic of philosophes the world had ever seen. Our newspaper had a political intent: to report news about the activity of the newly established provisional government. The predominant theme of my writing was the cause of liberty.
To keep my mind active, I recite words from my articles in Il Monitore, for they still fill my heart: "Finally we are free and for us the day has come when we too can pronounce the sacred words liberty, and equality, and announce ourselves to the Mother Republic as their worthy offspring, and to the free peoples of Italy and Europe, as its worthy brothers and sisters."
As it turned out, Cardinal Fabrizio Ruffo, on Ferdinando's orders, assembled an army of volunteers called the Santafede, the Defenders of the Holy Faith. These were a bunch of brigands recruited in the southern regions of the Italian peninsula. Armed with a banner of throne and altar, and with the white Bourbon cockade set in a crucifix, they invaded Naples by land.